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Softball Wins First Two Games Of WIAC Tournament
Posted: Friday, May 5, 2006
MENOMONIE - The sixth-ranked and top-seeded UW-Eau Claire softball team squeaked out a first round win against UW-River Falls, 1-0, and then cruised to victory in its second game against UW-Superior, 16-1 in five innings today to advance in the 2006 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Softball Championships.
The Blugolds faced the eight seed UW-River Falls in their first round matchup. The Falcons eliminated UW-Stout to face the Blugolds.
The Blugolds scored in the bottom of the first on a Mandy Tschernach (Jr.-Rice Lake, WI) RBI double to left field that scored Mallory McKinney (Jr.-Brooklyn Park, MN/Champlin Park). Tschernach was the only Blugold batter with a multi-hit game as she went 3-for-3.
That is all McKinney would need on the mound as she pitched a complete game three-hitter and the Blugolds went on to win 1-0. The Falcons did not have a runner advance past first the whole game. McKinney (20-1) struck out eight, breaking the school record for strikeouts in a season with a 135. She breaks her previous record of 134 she set last year.
The Blugolds' bats would wake up in the second game of the tournament and especially in the fourth inning against the four seed UW-Superior.
The Blugolds would score in the first inning again, as in the top of the inning the first three batters would reach base and Mallory McKinney would hit a RBI single to right field that scored Casey Leisgang (So.-Seymour, WI). The next batter, Jill Janke (So.-Black River Falls, WI) would hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Rachel Paulus (Jr.-Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln) to make the score 2-0.
The Blugolds would blow it open in a big way in the top of the fourth. Amber Haack (Jr.-Madison, WI/LaFollette) started the scoring with an RBI single that scored Tessa Pecha (So.-Eau Claire, WI/North). Shannon Barone (Jr.-De Pere, WI) would then hit a RBI single to score Mandy Tschernach. The next batter, pinch hitter freshman Betsy Kettinger (Fr.-Bloomington, MN/Jefferson) would get her first hit of the year with a two-RBI single that scored Barone and Haack.
Still in the fourth, Kettinger would score on an error and then McKinney would hit a RBI single, scoring Steph Salter (Jr.-Schofield, WI/D.C. Everest). Then Tschernach would hit a two-RBI triple, scoring both McKinney and Casey Leisgang.
Haack, who started the scoring in the fourth, would hit a two-run home run, breaking the team record for home runs in a season with its 29th. Barone would make it back-to-back home runs as she homered to left. Leisgang would end the scoring in the inning with a three-run home run to make the score 16-0. Leisgang finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
When the dust cleared in the fourth, the Blugolds scored 14 runs on 11 hits in the inning with the Yellowjackets committing four errors.
The Yellowjackets would only get one run in the bottom of the fourth and the Blugolds won in five innings 16-1.
McKinney (21-1) got the victory on the mound. She pitched three innings, allowed three hits and struck out three before being relieved by Bri Sturm (Fr.-Zumbrota, MN/Zumbrota-Mazeppa).
The tournament will continue tomorrow, as the Blugolds will face the six seed UW-Platteville in their first game of the day. Both are the only undefeated teams left in the tournament. That game is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at Wakanda Park.
- JR -